A Great Third Way
"History loves shooting stars like Bottomley. It's all the better when they burn out." Winston Churchill 1917
Exert from a Lecture by Prof. Daniel Greening, University of Glasgow, Feb. 1975
"The Asquith Ministry suffered a great blow after the Easter Rising. Evidence shows that the Prime Minister was going through great personal tragedy due to the death of his son, Raymond Asquith, during a visit to his battalion while he had already been requesting to be allowed to be returned to active duty and the news of an uprising in Dublin only compounded stress onto the Prime Minister. As well as this, he also needed to contend with powerful forces who saw him as tired and unable to run the war.
Lloyd George was now calling for a smaller War Cabinet to be established, Lord Northcliffe was using his presses to damage Asquith's government and the Conservatives, along with military figures, were rapidly losing faith that the Prime Minister was focusing on the war effort as a whole and not just thinking about political effects. One of the final straws was Asquith's back-pedalling on Lloyd George's request after an editorial from The Times suggested he lost control, the Secretary of State for War then resigned.
Without the support of the press, the Conservatives and even the public, Henry Asquith resigned as Prime Minister and would see Lloyd George take his place in a matter of days. He refused, along with other leading Liberals, to serve in the new Cabinet due to what he saw as a perceived betrayal by an over-ambitious traitor which allowed for the Conservatives to gain more positions in the War Cabinet while it also allowed another figure to enter the Cabinet. One who had been making a name for himself as a maverick, a great orator and a bit of a conman.
Horatio Bottomley had humble origins, as I'm sure most of you know, going from an orphan to the founder of the Financial Times, John Bull and the man who would shape the very fabric of British politics itself. He had already been going on many 'patriotic war lectures' where he would call upon young men to join the army and fight against the Germans in Europe with considerable success and to his joy as more and more people began to see him as a great man and soon his reputation as a conman who was thrown out of Parliament for bankruptcy amongst the public was soon vanishing in favour of the image of a noble patriot who loved his country immensely.
So when Henry Asquith resigned and the government was going to be reshuffled, it was no surprise that a movement to put him into the new War Cabinet was started. Bottomley, never one to allow opportunity to pass while in good health, was soon at the head of this campaign as sources said that "his speeches now had a sense of upcoming glory and rewarding which comforted his audience as they thought he was talking about them, rather then himself". Lloyd George, already a good friend of Bottomley, was receptive towards this campaign and soon began to try and find a place to put Bottomley so that he could be in the Cabinet.
Horatio Bottomley was soon made into Lord Bottomley and was soon invited into the War Cabinet into the new post of Minister of Information, designed to increase morale and support in Britain with the use of the media, make sure that something like the Easter Rising did not occur again and use propaganda in neutral countries to increase support for the Allied Powers. Horatio Bottomley was delighted that his hard work seemed to be paying off and was also happy about how he was right that "this war is my opportunity" and resolved to try and improve his reputation even further.
The first thing he did as Minster of Information was get the support of Lord Northcliffe and other press barons, such as Lord Beaverbrook, recently knighted as a way to avoid giving him a Cabinet position as originally promised, by speeding up the process of allowing Beaverbrook to purchase The Daily Express by June 1916. The next thing he did was use said press barons to unleash a barrage of propaganda to try and encourage soldiers into joining the army and getting their relatives to support the war effort.
The other thing he did was target those who had wronged him or had been firm opponents of the war, Ramsay MacDonald suffered a media campaign that could be described as brutal at best for a few weeks until pressure from the Labour benches had forced Lloyd George to convince Bottomley to call off the media assassination. Instead, Bottomley went around the country once more but with many newspapers showing exerts of his speeches in their articles, using his skills with words to convince thousands to sign up and end a war which was supposed to have ended a few years ago.
Bottomley's charisma allowed for more support to be given to the Ministry as explicit instruction were given to make sure that the Minister didn't get up to old tricks and in reward for the Herculean task, they were granted more and more powers. War films, war photographs and art were designed to paint a heroic image and the idea of noble sacrifices being made for the greater good of the nation allowed for more support for the war to appear, war bond sales to heavily increase and for Lloyd George and Horatio Bottomley to become beloved names in certain households. Intelligence records would soon be granted to the Ministry of Information, only for the entire staff to resign and be re-hired by the Foreign Office, requiring replacements.
Press barons such as Northcliffe, Beaverbrook were happy with the arrangement as their Minister did not look upon them with suspicion and, if anything, allowed them more freedom in what they did as long as they pushed forward the agenda needed. Where normal politicians would frown and insult, Bottomley would support and push forward. This would be beneficial for Bottomley as the presses would sing his praises and some of his fellow MPs could only watch aghast as his profile was raised further and further.
Another act of the Ministry of Information was to order that those who "strongly opposed the war effort and tried to negatively interfere" would face a panel to see whether they were foreign agents or were working for outside interests, a tone which only became louder as the Russian Revolution began. Lloyd George, while unsure, maintained support throughout the remaining two years of the war as he would soon face pressure over withholding troops from the front after the Battle of the Somme and Bottomley's media profile allowed him to survive the open split in the Liberal Party that emerged later on.
As the war ended and negotiations for the Treaty of Versailles began, Horatio Bottomley soon realised that he had the chance to make a new image for himself. His popularity now was only beaten by Lloyd George's and he knew that he needed to take advantage of this. What occurred was something that led to the creation of one of the most important parts of the first half of the 20th century and the beginning of a reshape in British politics, he would join the Coalition Liberals in the House of Lords while also accepting work in writing editorials for Northcliffe and Beaverbrook's newspapers so that he would begin creating a new party from a bi-partisan group to allow for a strong network before launching his new party.
He founded the Independent Parliamentary Group, a group of MPs and Lords from both sides of the benches, though mostly it was discontent Conservatives and Liberals, to push forward an agenda of a new Britain. Bottomley would later say that the group's founding, "Opened a great third way for our nation," while others would say it only caused chaos in the political system."
 This is a POD. Raymond Asquith died during the Battle of the Somme IOTL after his request to fight alongside them was finally granted, while ITTL he is killed earlier during around March, which means that Asquith gets personal tragedy to go with Easter Rising. This makes him less willing to fight and gives off a weaker image during the Easter Rising which means the media is even more against him then IOTL while making Lloyd George more bold. This will be mentioned later.
Bottomley really did go around the country in music halls in order to recruit young men into the army and his profile was raised more, he was a bit more critical of the government IOTL but always supported the war effort.
 Butterfly here, at the time of Lloyd George's ascension, there was a movement to get Bottomley into the Cabinet but he had a fever and so couldn't strike when the iron was hot. ITTL, due to an earlier resignation, he can campaign on this all he likes.
Beaverbrook bought The Daily Express in November 1916, sped up by a friendly Minister and by someone who doesn't want the negative media attention that Asquith got and also wants to maintain popularity
 The films, photographs and art were all done IOTL, the third is not exactly the same but it carries a similar message and war bond sales did increase when Beaverbrook implemented this, though it was later due to the Ministry of Information (also OTL) being founded later then ITTL.
 This funny story happened IOTL too, Balfour was either a really good boss or Beaverbrook was a very bad one.
 OTL too. Beaverbrook and Northcliffe were not looked upon with positive eyes by the political elite due to earlier behaviour and the fact that they were seen as 'press lords' who were just there to keep coverage positive. Here, Bottomley wants everyone to know how fantastic his existence is and how lame his enemies are.
 Basically, Lloyd George said to be so popular that some Conservatives said "He can be dictator for life if he wishes" and the public saw him as someone who cleaned Asquith's mess up and had 'won the war' by getting rid of the man so Bottomley ITTL could be seen as very loved, much to some people's dismay.
 He did this IOTL but he has something much bigger planned here and is trying to build the foundations of something big and new rather then have a momentary career boost.
Last edited by Blackadder mk 2; June 26th, 2012 at 07:14 PM..
Your TL promises to be interesting and I will be reading it.
Just to mention that it was Herbert Henry Asquith.
Professor Greening shortened it for his audience, who were not students, in order to provide something easier, he should use Herbert but there was a problem with the power and he didn't have time to explain.
This will be a thing for my TL, I remember reading how Thande mentioned that secondary sources can sometimes be biased and I decided that this was a direction I was going to take.
All of the 'sources' ITTL are biased or not entirely accurate for the sake of either political points, trying to convince the reader otherwise or just simplifying it for the audience.
Sorry about rushing The Great War but what comes after it is the more interesting matter.
Last edited by Blackadder mk 2; June 24th, 2012 at 09:27 PM..
They might as well call it the Ministry of Misinformation" John Maynard Keynes 1919
Taken from "British Parliamentary Election Results 1918-1949" by F.W.S. Craig (1969)
"One new aspect of this election was that many parties which would later become part of the People's League had managed to make their name known, some would win seats while others would not be so lucky. Another aspect was that, with the rise of Bottomley's media profile, anti-Socialism and anti-German feeling increased in sectors of the middle class and in 'patriotic working class' areas which allowed the National Party and some Independent candidates to do better in their elections then they might have done without the presence of Bottomley in the media, something that Labour MPs would make very clear as time went by.
The coalition had received a strong landslide victory, although the Conservatives dominated the coalition with the amount of seats that they gained, while the opposition was mostly headless due to Asquith's Liberals being seen as the dividers instead of national hero, Lloyd George, while the Labour Party was not going to reach its position as the second party for a long time which left the Conservatives in the good position of being the only, relatively, united party with a somewhat clear idealogical goal although the next five years would challenge that greatly.
Conservative: 366 seats (+95 seats)
Coalition Liberal: 127 seats (+127 seats)
Coalition National Democratic Party: 9 seats
Coalition Labour: 4 seats
Labour: 56 seats (+14 seats)
Sinn Fein: 46 seats (+40 seats)
Liberal: 36 seats (-236 seats)
Irish Parliamentary Party: 20 seats (-37 seats)
Irish Labour Party: 15 seats (+15 seats)
National Party: 10 seats (+10 seats)
National Socialist Party: 1 seat (+1 seat)
Women's Party: 1 seat (+1 seat)
Independents: 10 seats (+10 seats)
Total: 707 seats (+37 seats)
An exert of the Noel Coward play "Graduating the University of Life" during a New York showing (Written in 1937, particular showing in 1957)
"Dear Mr Keynes,
While we appreciate the effort that has been taken with your book, we at the Ministry of Information feel that your....rather worrying fascination with defending the Germans and attacking the British position in the negotiations for the Treaty of Versailles along with the fantastic Mr Bottomley and so, it is with a heavy heart after all of your work for the Treasury in the past, that we cannot allow this book to be sold in Britain under the Prevention of Espionage Act that we must forbid your book in its current form to be published in Britain or any of her colonies, though her Dominions retain the right to still publish this work....we think. We'll get back to you on that one.
However, if certain lines were to be changed into "while reparations are not an economic good but is a really good punishment for those evil Jerrys", and the word 'German' must be replaced by "evil, soulless Huns", then the chapters on economic incompetence would be absolutely fine and dandy. Other suggested changes is that calling the Ministry of Information "fantastic and should be given even more powers" and calling our beloved Minister "the greatest person who ever lived and was never bankrupt".
With these changes, we are sure that your book will more then meet our guidelines. Until then, however, your book will not see the light of a lovely British day. Unless the Ministry completely loses its powers and is disbanded in a matter of years but what are the odds of that?
Yours sincerely, Lord Horai-I mean-Investigator #312
P.S The Intelligence story has never happened. Nor is it, if it existed, a funny story."
"This is outrageous! And the Intelligence story was hilarious!"
Taken from "History of the First Ministry of Information" by Jacob White (1973)
As the Treaty of Versailles was being negotiated, camps were emerging in the government as some wanted Germany to be let off with a relative slap on the wrist and hope that the German public, feeling betrayed after years of nationalist brainwashing turned out to be wrong, would not vote in a government who would rebuild the German army, those who wanted Germany cut into little pieces so that they would be 'neutralised' in terms of economic and military threats and those who were in favour of a compromise, or at least a compromise in that context.
Not only was this split present in the domestic front but also in the larger three powers with France wanting extremely harsh measures, based on earlier nationalism and another chapter in rejecting a possible partner in the Germans, the Americans wanted Germany intact to allow for another trading partner to be set up but were unwilling to become involved enough with the outside world. This had resulted in a conflict of interests. Lloyd George represented the moderate side of Allied leaders and was able to make sure that Germany could survive but barely.
The Ministry of Information was given the task of communicating the news of the treaty went towards Horatio Bottomley, one of the members of the more hard-line faction when it came to deciding the British position and his protests were made vocal at the treaty as he had claimed that it would "be a betrayal of all of those who have given their lives to stop the Hun menace" and pointed out that many sea workers would be not be happy about Germany "receiving a mere stern warning" which shows how low Bottomley thought of Germans.
The treaty was presented and some of the reaction from the public had been disappointment as after two years of their own brainwashing from the Northcliffe and Beaverbrook press had made them wishful for the economic destruction of Germany, the National Party, which had done well in siphoning right wing Tory votes, was very vocal about its opposition to this and how it had betrayed many such as the "noble Reginald Dyer" who had been shot by a German sniper during 1917 as an example and pointed out at the many deaths of British soldiers possibly being for nothing.
Another issue was that more and more people were asking questions about whether a Ministry of Information was still needed in a post-war world and some were even saying that it was just a way for Bottomley, Northcliffe and Beaverbrook to collect information and plot their future control using blackmail and other dirty tricks. Lloyd George stood by his close friend and political ally and the Ministry would survive until the eventual fall of the coalition.
One such abuse of the Ministry of Information's power was the censoring of John Maynard Keynes' book criticising the handling of Versailles, the rampant Germanophobia in British society and the British government's position, something that Bottomley could not allow due it being his only way of maintaining his power for as long as possible. With that, the book was banned from publishing in Britain or her colonies, although the Dominions were still allowed to accept publishings, until 1922 where the coalition had collapsed and Bottomley and the Ministry of Information lost their power and Keynes book could be published to much success.
 Relax, the reason for this will be covered in the next few updates as Ireland gets a bit of coverage and we see why Sinn Fein did not do as well as OTL.
 The Irish Labour Party didn't stand for elections IOTL due to the sense of letting the Irish people decide between a Republic and Home Rule but they are a bit more ambitious and ready ITTL due to things that will be explained in the next update.
 The National Party have done better, at the Tories expense, due to Bottomley pushing many people to the right and the National Party's anti-German, protectionist and 'patriotic Labour; stance attracts more votes then OTL.
 Christabel Pankhurst manages to gain more votes due to the mentioned above effect, she would have been highly praised by Bottomley due to her and sister's ceasing of campaigning in favour for fighting the 'German enemy' and her lack of sympathy for pro-German opinions, her party's manifesto included anti-German and anti-Bolshevik opinions.
 Once again, the 'Bottomley effect' has caused more right wing Independents to win their elections such as Henry Beamish and H.S Spencer who were far-rightists and later Fascists.
 Apparently, and I am not making this up, Noel Coward was considering making a play about Bottomley's more then interesting life IOTL, with the latter attending one of Coward's shows while he was in the area, though Bottomley's death put an end to that. IOTL, his life is a lot more interesting and would be more accepted though Coward is taking a tragedy route with this.
 Reginald Dyer IOTL survived, was responsible for the Amritsar Massacre in India and is seen as one of the people who was responsible for the strong growth of Indian nationalism.
 Doing research, I am amazed by the strength of anti-German opinion in the British public and political sphere, considering later attitudes and wonder how Versailles wasn't harsher with the way that both Britain and France had people demanding Germany pay in blood. I guess Keynes' book was really convincing.
 Some people thought this ITTL at the time but not at the scale that this guy is suggesting. Beaverbrook was accused of something like this later IOTL by Michael Foot but nothing concrete seemed to come out of it due to a lack of evidence.
 Not as much as OTL but still enough to make someone's eyes widen, without the earlier presence of the book, the opposition to Versailles doesn't strengthen yet in the mainstream British public yet but it will eventually. Keynes still has foreign figures and the more travelling of the British will have heard of it but not enough to spread the word far and near, though he is still welcomed back to the Bloomsbury Club.
Last edited by Blackadder mk 2; June 25th, 2012 at 01:00 PM..
Blackadder mk 2
Fascinating and frightening. Things could go very bad for Britain, and possibly a lot of the rest of the world, with Bottomley and his ministry doing so much damage.
Is the OTL treaty changed at all? Given the TL I would presume there is probably going to be some hardening of terms but whether territorial, economic or whatever.
Since the coalition falls apart in 1922, which is when it collapsed OTL, does that mean the same basic events occur or are there any changes? For instance from the mention of Bottomley's propaganda related to Ireland and the weaker presence of SF there might be differences there, whether better or worse.
Nope. Some more pressure is put on Lloyd George but the treaty is mostly the same, a larger apology for attacks on British merchant ships is made but nothing too big or nothing that would change the mood of any public from OTL.
The Irish Civil War and Sales for Honours will be going differently, the next few updates will be on Ireland during this time and then sales of honours. Followed by the coalition collapse and other consequences.
"It appears that I have yet to be freed of my burden in Ireland." Henry Duke 1919
From "The Consequences of Easter" by Charles Adams (1967)
"The Easter Rising had failed. It failed to take over Dublin Castle, it failed to take over Dublin Castle and it even failed to cause a nation-wide revolution as the plotters had hoped. All that occurred was that those who had risen up either had silent support or were openly insulted by the very people that they were fighting for, they managed to topple a Prime Minister, but only because of mainland media pressure and a sense of weakness from the Prime Minister.
Even if they wished to become martyrs, that small victory would be denied to them as they were soon painted as cruel and heartless murderers with the dead body of James Connolly being found suspiciously near the shot down body of a woman who's husband had been in France. The Ministry of Information, the propaganda tool of Horatio Bottomley, would later paint this as the tale of a dirty and shameless socialist who used any excuse to attack the innocent, Michael Collins, future President of the Executive Council for Ireland, would call it "an untrue and dirty slander against a patriot".
The replacement of H.H Asquith with Lloyd George meant that the trials had to be delayed somewhat and when the participants finally faced trial, it was against a 'Security Panel' with a few 'trusted' journalists to record how each trial went. They were forbidden to speak unless prompted, which happened rarely, and the trial mostly consisted of being poured with scorn for their acts of rebellion during wartime. The journalists span the event as justice being handed down to a group of insane monsters rather then rebels, although the intended effect only appeared to show in Ulster and Dublin while other areas in Cork, soon to be a Valerian stronghold, were more sympathetic towards the rebels.
Around eighty-five execution orders were given but only ten were able to be sentenced before John Dillon intervened with a fierce attack on the government over the execution orders and the fact that the Ministry of Information was given rights to the trial. Bottomley reacted violently to what he saw as sympathisers using their influence to aid treason against the country and many on the right supported his view on this.
The executions managed to boost sympathies for the rebels in some areas of Ireland as Sinn Fein soon swelled with hard-line nationalist support, due to the media blaming it for the Easter Rising when barely any of the plotters were members, but not to the planned extent that some of the plotters may have been hoping for. It did still give the independence movement more strength as time went on and the Irish Convention started.
Months later, with Sinn Fein winning some of the by-elections worrying both the British and Irish governments, they chose to set up the Irish Convention as a way to find a solution to the Irish Question which had plagued British politics since the time of Gladstone. The hope was that a compromise could be found between the extreme nationalists, the Home Rulers and the Unionists and that peace could still be reached.
Unfortunately, the Convention failed due to two outside factors. The first was that some of the Unionists wished to include a statement that said "This Convention regrets that the unlawful Easter Rising in Dublin, one that has only caused pain for all parties, and wishes to apologise to the families and victims of the anarchy that ensued" which gained strong protests from the Sinn Fein delegation and a walk-out was threatened until it was agreed that the statement would be withdrawn. The damage was already done, however, as Sinn Fein was now less co-operative while many on the more nationalist-leaning Home Ruler side began to suspect that someone encouraged the Unionists to put forward the statement.
The second factor was a rumour that the British government was going to introduce conscription in Ireland to fight off the 1918 Spring Offensive from the Germans, which had amazing success at that point, with the Cabinet somewhat split on the issue between Henry Duke, Chief Secretary for Ireland, who opposed the move and Horatio Bottomley who favoured the move. Sources contradict one another in whether the government planned to introduce the highly unpopular move but it should be noted that many newspapers were publishing statements from Catholic leaders that suggested that joining the Allied Forces would be the right thing to do.
This rumour caused Sinn Fein to finally walk out of the Convention and caused splits in the Home Rulers as some believed the rumours and wanted to strongly protest while others were opposed to committing to action without hard evidence. The split in opinion caused the Unionists to build up a bunker mentality as they thought that the extreme nationalists would begin to attack them as a way to force support for their cause, Ireland was becoming a boiling pot which may have convinced the government to drop the proposed conscription plans as it seemed that it would not have the intended effects.
As the 1918 election came closer, the Irish Labour Party chose to contest elections instead of earlier plans to not do so in the belief that the election would be a plebiscite due to the weakness shown in the IPP and the belief that Sinn Fein would only have contained victories and that the ILP could take advantage of their position. The election gave Sinn Fein considerable success in most areas but Ulster and Dublin but they still saw this as an endorsement of their policies due to the high vote share they had with the Irish public. With this, they began to take their seats, but in a new area of parliament called the Dail and a declaration of war was then made.
Exert taken from "The Anglo-Irish War" by Gareth O'Donovan (1956)
The starting points of the war consisted of many republicans being invited to sit at the Dail, with many Unionists, IPP and some ILP MPs refusing to support the Dail or the declaration of independence, though the latter of three took a path of neutrality. Some of the invitations were to republicans already in jail or had been sentenced to 'prolonged incarceration' by the Ministry of Information. The second starting point was when two members of the Irish Volunteers murdered two RIC soldiers and the Volunteers soon became the Irish Republican Army.
One problem with the IRA was that there was division in how to conduct warfare against the British. Eamon De Valera, always the romanticist of Irish culture, thought that open warfare would make them a more legitimate state in the eyes of the world while Michael Collins and the broader IRA leadership knew that open warfare against the British would always end in defeat and favoured guerilla warfare. The latter approach was taken as it was decided that a defeated legitimate traitor was worse then a successful illegitimate independent state.
Another problem was that the IRA men would sometimes be found out by "G" Men who worked under the Foreign Office and the Ministry of Information, Michael Collins managed to gain information from sympathetic insiders but not enough to make a large impact on them. This was not enough, however, to totally defeat the Irish rebels as a strong segment of the population supported the group which allowed them to avoid detection by British soldiers and made attacks easier to commit.
The British found themselves frustrated with how nothing seemed to be working against the rebels, they could find the men's location with the "G" Men but it was often difficult to defeat them in confrontation or even find them as if RIC numbers were too small then the confrontation would have mixed results but if the numbers were too large then the IRA would be warned and move out before they could be caught and the whole process would start over again, leaving them in a state of ouroboros where they would constantly repeat their action with limited results, something new was needed.
A plan was devised, by Horatio Bottomley and Winston Churchill, to use veterans of the Great War as a reinforcement to the RIC as a way to crack down on the IRA, the veterans knew about war, they could be paid well and it was cheaper then using the army itself. The Ministry of Information had already been interrogating groups of suspects and found many IRA activists so the Black and Tans, the name given due to the uniform, could simply be an extension of that, bringing in suspects to the Security Panels and then quickly moving when the panels found something.
Unfortunately, the plan was once again vetoed by Henry Duke who claimed that the veterans had seen enough war and that they may be unstable, causing the war of words to go into Sinn Fein's favour. This, added with the man's protesting of the MoI's use of questioning large groups for days on end, finally caused Bottomley to snap as he went on a rage and accused his counterpart of "working with the traitors for years!" and that he was secretly working with "Huns, Feiners and Bolsheviks" in an attempt to bring down Britain. Many in the National Party and Conservative ranks agreed, frustrated about Lane Fox's work in India, and appealed for Law to do something. A compromise was made in that the Black and Tans would be introduced at a later time if the situation could no longer be controlled by the RIC and MoI.
The idea would never be introduced as opposition to continued fighting became stronger with H.H Asquith, Edward Wood, Jan Smuts, the King, Oswald Mosley and the TUC becoming opposed to the continued fighting as the months went by and the war already entered the year 1921 and frustrations with the lack of success in finishing off the IRA finally got to the Cabinet and a negotiations to end the fighting in Ireland reached IRA hands in July but only after a furious assault was made on IRA resistance to make sure that they knew what would happen if they refused to accept the truce.
Shock was present among the leadership of the IRA. At this time, the IRA were wondering whether they would be able to continue fighting against the British as multiple agents were arrested, they no longer could afford or had any weapons to last them and Michael Collins even admitted to close friends that he had lied to the IRA council, saying that "I said we can no longer actually fight since yesterday, it was actually last week." and said that planned "Dynamite Attacks" was only damaging the fragile upper hand that Sinn Fein had in the war of words. With that, negotiations began and the Anglo-Irish War soon reached its end.
 Well what do you expect from a man who just lost his son to a war and now has to deal with an Irish Uprising?
 Coincidence, actual event or just bad luck? No one actually knows but what is important is that an injured man IOTL is now dead before the executions ITTL.
 Dublin was apparently a strong base for Unionist leanings which means they are more likely to believe news from Britain then their counterparts in rural Ireland.
 Some TL jargon that will be explained in the next update.
 True IOTL as well. Not many of the actual Easter Rising plotters such as Michael Collins were actually members of Sinn Fein but quickly joined when the media offered them the oxygen of publicity and took advantage of it, making Sinn Fein match its media image.
 More dead plotters in the actual battle means less are in the trial and the longer time means less are executed before John Dillon can save them with his speech as he did IOTL.
 Without the OTL image of an injured man being propped up for being shot, Sinn Fein has less support and moderate nationalism still has some elements of supports but executions still happened so Sinn Fein gets some support but nothing like OTL.
 Unionists being cocky or did someone put them up to it? Once again, no one ITTL actually knows as evidence from some points to the latter and other points to the former.
 This is essentially a more successful Hays Plan then OTL as this was doubled with the massively unpopular conscription while ITTL it's been going on for a while and the need for more soldiers is less urgent due to an effective advertising campaign meaning that there are more bodies up for throwing at the onslaught. Henry Duke opposed conscription IOTL as well.
 It really backfired IOTL, it didn't get the soldiers needed, it only pushed Home Rulers towards Sinn Fein and it never even got launched off the ground because of this.
 The vote share for Sinn Fein is lower then OTL while the IPP's seat share matches their vote share far more then OTL did while the ILP siphoned votes from both sides, leading to the results in the last update.
 OTL again, as I research this topic, I think it is a miracle that Eamon survived this long, let alone gained what he did in the past considering what he was willing to sacrifice for the sake of looking good.
 Less support for the IRA in the moderate Irish public means Collins has less to go on, raids still go but not on the success rate that OTL gave him which means the IRA has even more trouble to deal with.
 Many is subjective. You can have a hundred IRA suspects in your custody and say you have many in custody but how many are innocent, how many actually know anything and how many are invaluable. The MoI is doing well but not as well as they say they are doing.
 Someone needed to take Reginald's place and I'll explain more about Fox in a few updates.
 OTL as well. The British were really gearing up to end this and the truce was done to make sure the IRA got the blame if things went south, anyone who even thought "IRA" in Northern Ireland had been interned and the British had the resources to go all the way while the IRA.....did not.
 What Collins said, the situation in June IOTL was the situation in April ITTL. It was a miracle that they have fought this long when this came in, Collins even said to the Secretary of Ireland at the time "You had us dead beat. We could not have lasted another three weeks. When we were told of the offer of a truce we were astounded. We thought you must have gone mad".
Interesting TL here-keep it up!
The world is just, a great big onion. . And hate & fear are the spices that make it fly.
I remember EdT having Horatio Bottomley as PM in Fight and Be Right, but there it was just a background thing to help justify why people had begun to view not only the Unionist Party but the whole political establishment as intrinsically corrupt and irredeemable...
In my opinion, Bottomley is one of those people who could excel in any field but politics because while he's addicted to using fraud to cover up other frauds, his eloquence could have gotten him out of more trouble then politics allowed while I view Lloyd George as someone similar to Bottomley but chose to rise up in the political ranks instead of the public perception with his politics and he could control himself better until 'Sales for Honours' as well. I think that if Bottomley had enough of a shock then his mind could over-ride the instinct to commit fraud as an easy way to make money and he did have positive personal qualities to go with the fraud and xenophobia and slight tinfoil hat.
Another thing I'm doing with this TL that I've seen before is make some of my sources biased which will increase in their bias as time goes by so you may see a very right-wing biased source on something to show that not all information is reliable, hopefully it will go well.
"How can we call for a united Ireland when we ourselves are divided over our own treaty?" Michael Collins 1922
Exert from "The Second War of Irish Independence" by Marga O'Brien (1967)
The Anglo-Irish Treaty was born from compromising away the originals goals of the IRA. Michael Collins was convinced that no aid would come to them and that unless the IRA went to the table with the British government, they would all be killed like the noble martyrs of old and Collins was desperate to avoid such a fate. To the protests of many front-line IRA leaders, the Dail chose to negotiate with Lloyd George and Bottomley in order to try and achieve independence after a brutal campaign to gain rightful independence from the British.
Attitudes from the British were a mixture of arrogance and a lust for vengeance against those who dared challenge the might of their empire and win so they conspired to try and weaken the moral victory of the IRA in any way that they could be using an old British tactic. They divided the IRA by presenting them with a treaty that ensured that the Dail swore themselves to the King, stole the Ulster region away and that British ships could occupy ports for the sake of imperialistic adventures.
Segments of the IRA, led by Collins, wanted to sign the treaty as they had grown weary of fighting and took a defeatist view of the issue. They were content to have some form of self-government and were happy to continue being under the economic stranglehold of the British while others, led by Eamon de Valera, wanted to keep on fighting in order to achieve a free and just Ireland and knew that victory could still be achieved with the aid of the Americans sending in supplies and that they had simple reached the point where more morale was needed.
The treaty was signed and approved by the puppet Dail and British parliament, with three sides being found in the Irish 'Free' State which would soon form the political parties we have now. The first was the Valerians, they were opposed to the treaty and wanted to create a united Ireland that was independent of Britain and their base of support was in the South West, although sympathies were present in all of Ireland, and many of the women TDs supported this faction against more years of oppression.
The second faction were the Collinsmen, they were the defeatists of the IRA who believed that it was better for Ireland to avoid confronting the British, economic strategy to meet with military, and supported the treaty if it would avoid conflict and had a general spread of support but mostly in central. The third faction was a mixture of the Irish Unionists, some parts of the Irish Labour Party and the landed aristocracy, known as The Moderates who were probably happy with staying under British rule as long as their interests were met and would form an alliance with the Collinsmen during the Treaty, Civil War and political discourse afterwards with their base of support being found in Dublin, certain Ulster regions and County Wicklow.
The Civil War began when Anti-Treaty forces occupied the Four Courts in a show of defiance against the Treaty. Arthur Griffith, a Collinsman, wanted an immediate attack but Collins was fearful that any attack would unite Ireland against the Treaty and start a civil war but after a failed assassination of Unionist MP, Henry Hughes Wilson, the British demanded that their puppet attack or they would do it themselves and the garrison was attacked but only after a majority for Pro-Treaty in the election was secured.
What the Anti-Treaty forces lacked in numbers, as time went on, they made up in spirit and training as they prepared for a long and harsh guerilla war against an army backed up and trained by the British army that they had only finished fighting. As time went by, the Pro-Treaty army was built up from soldiers that were already trained in fighting Britain's wars, using weapons from the British that were used to kill Irish soldiers and intimidate Irish civilians and were ready to fight against the very men they fought with a few months ago.
The Irish Civil War had begun.
Taken from "Bathed in Blood: Tale of an Emerald Isle" by John Hannigan (1972)
The Anti-Treaty forces, led by Valera, found that they had less support then they planned with the 1922 Irish general election with the Pro-Treaty Sinn Fein gaining fifty-nine seats, the Anti-Treaty Sinn Fein only gaining thirty-three, Labour managed eighteen and the Businessmen and Farmer's Party, later known as the Moderates, had gained nine seats while Independents gained the rest. The pact made over using the election as a referendum for the treaty, condemned by Secretary for Colonies Winston Churchill, was quickly torn up and the civil war began.
Eamon de Valera was skilled in inspiring his men to fight for the dream of a united Ireland and was skilled in political debate but was found to be unable to be skilled with military matters as organisation plagued the Anti-Treaty forces while the Pro-Treaty side had supplies handed to them by the British Army and a larger recruiting pool as support for the Anti-Treaty forces was mostly found in areas occupied by them or by people who had already joined the Anti-Treaty forces, an offensive was launched by Collins to take over the large town to prevent the Anti-Treaty forces from having large bases to hide their weapons in.
The war quickly turned to the Pro-Treaty group's favour as the Anti-Treaty forces found that their offensives were failing until a widespread attack was made which almost took the life of Collins himself, but he survived with only minor injuries. However, the attempt only solidified the Free State leadership's bitterness as brutal reprisals were launched as Arthur Griffith died of a brain haemorrhage and was replaced by W.T Cosgrave, with casualties rising and attacks on Free State soldiers and attacks were launched on Anglo-Irish Senators in an attempt at intimidation the Free State soon looked to be peril.
The winter soon changed that as republican attacks became more difficult to launch and most of the attacks on Senators were now being thwarted by the National Army, another offensive was planned over the winter against de Valera's false government although the remaining forces found authority in the hands of their military leaders instead of the republic government set up. A bitterness was produced over the offensive as republican prisoners were executed in increasingly morbid ways as the republican tactics had also become more and more brutal with the support decreasing by the day and the Catholic Church siding with the Free State, although the executions caused discomfort, with the destruction of entire columns and the drop in morale caused the republican guerillas much discomfort as the war was now looking more and more pointless.
De Valera called for a ceasefire on December but was refused by the remaining republican leaders who refused to see reality until a raid had caused the deaths of many leaders of the republican executive such as Liam Lynch, Dan Breen, Todd Andrews, Sean Gaynor and Frank Barrett, leading moderates like Frank Aitken to take charge and, with de Valera, call for a ceasefire or deal with a was without victory. The remaining 8,000 of the last 10,000 republican troops surrendered to the National Army on January 1923 as they were held prisoner in camps and an election was called for by W.T Cosgrave to allow for the people of Ireland to decide the post-Civil War government.
The election results were as follows:
Cumann na nGaedheal: 64 seats (+5 seats)
Republican: 39 seats (+6 seats)
Businessmen and Farmer's Party: 18 seats (+9 seats)
Labour: 18 seats (+1 seat)
Cork Progressive Association: 1 seat (+1 seat)
Independent: 13 seats (+4 seats)
Total: 153 seats (+25 seats)
The Irish Civil War had ended, and now the newly independent and peaceful country needed to answer a question that hadn't been asked in centuries, "What do we do now?".
 Same as OTL basically, with the British not knowing how badly the IRA were done for until Collins told them.
 I love writing catty, over-ambitious Valera fangirls, it's very fun.
 This was true in OTL as the female TDs were more likely to be against the treaty then for.
 That was the reason for a lack of attack IOTL as well, Collins wanted to wait for the election results before making his move for fear of losing support for the treaty, but not in the way that the author imagines it.
 This is all OTL except for the survival of Henry Hughes Wilson, he died due to the plot IOTL and some people even suspected that Collins ordered it because the man refused to attack Unionists during the crisis before WWI IOTL.
 Originally, ITTL and IOTL, the Anti-Treaty forces outnumbered Pro-Treaty by 2-1 until the Pro-Treaty side started to recruit, gain equipment, etc.
 How are they both in Flanders and Dublin and fighting for and against the British? Don't bring your common sense into this you English-sympathising traitor!
 The Farmer's Party found their support in rich rural farmers while the Businessmen Party found their support in the landed Anglo-Irish classes so ITTL they are one party due to a closer Anglo-Irish and Southern Unionist community.
 Henry Duke lost his job after Anglo-Irish Treaty and went on to become a judge as IOTL while Churchill is now running the show, it's too late for him to do anything, however.
 As it did IOTL.
 Obviously, he died IOTL but he survives here and manages to continue leading the National Army as a spiritual leader as he did in the past, meaning things will change in the future.
 They did this IOTL as well but with better results as they managed to chase off the Southern Unionist but they don't have the time and resources they did ITTL due to less sympathy.
 Once more, OTL, with Valera's 'alternative government' being ignored by everyone while the Anti-Treaty IRA listened the their commanders then they did to the political leadership.
 Say it with me, same IOTL as while researching this, I found lots of stories involving republican prisoners being shot by firing squad, and even a story of nine prisoners being tied to a landmine, killing eight and only leaving one to flee in reprisal for killing TDs and treaty negotiators.
 IOTL it was 12,000 of 15,000 but more casualties and less support have led to less people joining the republicans and less success so the war ends earlier then it did IOTL.
 More support for the treaty and a more moderately nationalist Irish public means that the treaty enjoys more support and so more seats are joined by the pro-treaty party.
 Due to less support for the anti-treaty movement and atrocities being loudly proclaimed, in seat terms, the republicans gain less support but few changes in vote terms.
 A larger Southern Unionist and Anglo-Irish class means that these guys also get more support.
 Labour is seen as a moderate vote for those who used to support the republicans but got turned away by the Civil War.
Last edited by Blackadder mk 2; July 4th, 2012 at 12:52 PM..
Looks interesting, blackadder! I wish you would continue Islands of Blood, though, that was an excellent attempt to write a [kinda] plausible Powell dystopia... but I'll be reading this with relish!
Currently planning: "All who want revolution, step to the Left." -- Liao Zhongkai's China
"I don't know what's worse. An egotistical Bottomley with no sense of the future or an intelligent one with only that in mind." F.E Smith 1921
Exert from the Noel Coward Play "Graduating the University of Life" for a London showing (1964)
SCENE AFTER SPEECH TO CROWD (CHOOSE ANY ONE BUT IT HAS TO BE FROM 1921)
"...You see, Eliza? With Haig working on that new British Legion, this is my chance to finally make some money again. Being the Minister for Information takes up lots of time and I can't get around the way I used to."
"Just be careful, Horatio. You know what happened last time."
"I know....and things could go bad with the Patriotic Labour groups and IPG if I get into trouble again. Not to mention some of these people are saying I'm a dictator against the poor. Me! I started out poor, you know what happened with father, but I built myself up while these overinflated intellectuals seem to think that they know better!"
"Please stay calm, the day is too nice for this type of talk."
"The day is nicer with you here, Eliza, I enjoy the days when you are here."
"As I do as well...though you seem to enjoy other women's company from what Houston has told me."
"You know I live you most of all, except perhaps our little girl."
"I know that. I think the car is somewhere near here, do you remember where you parked?"
"That I do, it was just aroun-"
"DEATH TO THE OPPRESSORS!"
*BANG" (PRODUCE FIRING NOISE AND HAVE ELIZA COLLAPSE THEN FLEE THE SCENE, SHOWS SIGNS OF LEAVING CROWD NOISE RISING AS THE SHOOTER IS ATTACKED)
"ELIZA! (HOLD BODY IN YOUR ARMS) Eliza, are you all right? Stay awake and I'm sure there was a doctor in the crowd."
"H-H-H(USE COUGHS)Horatio....I don't think doctors can help me now."
"D-Don't say that... We'll find someone."
"I can see Monte Carlo..."
"YES! We can go there after all of this, the others will understand! We'll have a grand old time, but not yet, you need to go to the hospital...get better...please!"
"Goodbye, Horatio....(ELIZA DIES, TRY TO AVOID THE GIGGLING LIKE LAST TIME IN REHEARSAL, JANE)"
(HORATIO STARTS CRYING, BUT DON'T OVERACT OR PEOPLE WILL BE LAUGHING MORE THEN ANYTHING)
Taken from "From Broke to Baron: The Biography of Horatio Bottomley" by Harry King (1968)
The death of Eliza Norton shook Horatio Bottomley to his core, he was known to have had many mistresses to which he treated with kindness but he had always loved his wife above the others so the assassination by a relative of a socialist anti-war protester who had been denied bail by the Ministry had affected him deeply. The culprit was unable to be put on trial as the shooting had occurred near where people had been exiting from one of Bottomley's rallies and had attacked the fleeing assassin, causing him to be killed and motives to be figured out in the examination of the identity. Her death caused condolences to be given to Bottomley and his daughter while many mourned the loss of the kind woman who was seen by Bottomley's foes as a better counterpart of her more arrogant husband.
However, Bottomley took a different view to the idea that it was simply a disgruntled relative who went radical and instead believed that the man was a lackey for a secret organisation that he and Noel Pemberton Billing, editor for a journal called The Imperialist, thought existed in many parts of Britain's infrastructure called The Unseen Hand which was dedicated to damaging Britain on the inside with the use of foreign and socialist agents. With the aid of press lord Northcliffe (owner of The Times and Daily Mail), anti-semite Leo Maxse (editor for the National Review) and Ellis Powell (the editor for the Financial News), these two restarted a campaign to spread awareness of this group and hopefully damage the group that had taken Bottomley's wife from him.
Another effect this had on Bottomley was the decision to abandon a planned project which was shown to be riddled in fraud, possibly returning him to bankruptcy, in favour of defeating this menace that his grief-addled mind created on the political stage, the Independent Parliamentary Group soon became a right-wing ally of the National Party with the assistance of the 'patriotic labour' parties which were started to fight against the Labour Party. Bottomley was also now much more reactive in the Security Panels, to the point where other Cabinet members were wondering if they should cut the Ministry now or simply neuter its powers.
One problem with Bottomley's reaction was that as it drove Cabinet members to use loopholes to allow out many people who had been arrested for 'unpatriotic activities' much to the joy of the TUC and Labour MPs but the problem was that they were now radicalised by their time and were less likely to support Labour more then they would support the recently founded Communist Party, causing Bottomley's claims to become a self-causing prophecy. The upsurge in support, especially during the Poplar Rates Rebellion, caused Bottomley's paranoia to increase even further as he would use his editorials to declare that Albert Inkpin should "be held for treason for his support for Bolshevikism" and pointed out that his release after spending two years in prison via the MoI, "he still managed to create this dirty Communist Party of his with his limited freedoms" before calling for his arrest once more as well as supporting parties "that show interest in preserving our great nation's heritage".
The rise of the Communist Party also fuelled the divide in the working class over whether to follow socialism in the fight for equal rights as many anti-socialist or 'patriotic Labour' groups were flocking around either the Independent Parliamentary Group, which would be famously named "The People's League" a month after Eliza's death or towards the National Party which said that "no restriction in wages in return for no restriction in output" and attempted co-operation with Labour before turning to the National Democratic Party, the pro-war split from the British Socialist Party. As 1921 became 1922, it had also become clear that an election would soon arrive as the coalition became more and more unpopular among Conservative MPs with some thinking that they were simply being used by Lloyd George ever since their former leader, Bonar Law, resigned over health issues and Austen Chamberlain was being criticised in some quarters while Liberals were unhappy with how the Anti-Waste League's demands were met so quickly. Oncoming scandals would test the foundation of the coalition government further as time would show as the sense of being able to stand on their own two feet grew in the Conservatives.
Taken from a lecture by Prof. George Wells, University of Birmingham, May 1972
"...Now can any one here tell me why 1922 was such a difficult year for the coalition government? Mark?"
"One of the reasons was that the coalition government had lost the support of one of the more popular members, Horatio Bottomley, who had maintained his popularity by focusing on his department, being seen as separate from the government and due to sympathy for the loss of his wife, Eliza Norton. He lost faith in the coalition government due to the fact that many in the Cabinet were not fond of the first Ministry of Information and saw it as a way for Bottomley and the press barons to attack their enemies, they began to pull rank on the Ministry and would reduce the sentences given to suspects on the grounds that it was no longer wartime. Bottomley also found himself in conflict with many Ministers such as Henry Duke for his stance on Ireland and George Lane Fox for his lack of hard action against Indian protesters led by the INC and continuing the policies of Edwin Montagu."
"Good, avoid calling it the first Ministry of Information and you'll do well on this question, another reason?"
"The scandals that affected the coalition government, the sale of honours scandal, for example, had finally led to the resignation of Horatio Bottomley, Hamar Greenwood and Frederick Guest who were in close contact with one another for the past few months. Lloyd George needed funds to build up the Liberal remnants he had after Asquith refused to join the coalition government and sold honours to do so, the revelation of this led to the Honours Prevention of Abuses Act a few years later. Another scandal which had actually brought down the government was the Chanak Crisis where Lloyd George threatened Turkey with war without consulting the Foreign Secretary, Curzon, France, or the Dominions which led to embarrassment and negotiations, this caused the Conservatives to finally call a meeting in the Carlton Club over the coalition's survival and-"
"Good, now take a rest, you look out of breath. Now who can tell me what happened during the Carlton Club meeting? Yes, Mary."
"The Newport by-election was one of the factors used by the anti-coalition side as to why the Conservatives should no longer maintain support for the coalition. A Labour victory was expected in many quarters. But in the run up to the by-election, the Conservative candidate, Reginald Clarry, had run an effective campaign and was gaining working class support for being against prohibition like his Labour and Liberal opponents were, the results came in and the Conservative candidate had won with a majority of 440. Anti-coalition supporters claimed that this showed that public anger was focused on the coalition instead of the Conservatives which meant that it would be safe to call a new election while the pro-coalition side said that it was due to the vote splitting that the first People League candidate John Nicholson caused Labour to lose more votes and that it was only by luck that Clarry won.."
"Excellent. Jack, add on to this with what happened at the club."
"The two sides of the debate could be defined as the one between the left and right of the party as the left were more supportive of the coalition, backed Duke and Fox and were more likely to be free-trade while the right of the party were anti-coalition, were more likely to support Bottomley and Croft and were protectionists. There were anomalies as protectionist Mosley backed the coalition and George Lane Fox actually opposed the coalition but the majority of the right and left chose their sides. Speeches were made on both ends as Austen Chamberlain claimed that the coalition aided the fight for individual freedoms, to a cold reception, Stanley Baldwin threatened to stand as an independent, Bonar Law said that party unity was required and admitted that he was an "opportunist" while Arthur Balfour attempt at encouraging loyalty towards the leader of the party only gained cries of "Bon-pft-Bonar Law!" repeatedly-"
"Clearly, your maturity knows no bounds. But the right of the Tories were unhappy with Fox's 'live and let live' policy in India, it's why they aren't happy with Macleod and his friendship with Powell, Susan, please finish for him."
"The vote at the end of meeting was 160 votes to end the coalition and 114 votes to continue it. Austen Chamberlain resigned as leader of the Conservative Party and Bonar Law succeeded him, choosing to both be accepted as Prime Minister and dissolve Parliament for an election to have the Conservatives gain a fresh mandate to form a government while many smaller parties saw this as an opportunity to break through and either become the new Opposition, third party or, in the case of the Liberal factions, gain enough of a position so that the party could unite again and maintain the rank of Opposition."
"Excellent, these will all be on the test, try to shorten them if you cannot handle time limits but I advise you to simply speed up your writing skills."
 Yes that Haig. Field Marshal Haig was the founder of the British Legion and cared deeply about what happened to the soldiers after WWI IOTL and I see no reason why he wouldn't ITTL either, Bottomley, of course is seeing this as an opportunity to make some more money after the whole "lock up the trouble-makers" was getting in the way of speaking tours.
 Evidence seemed to show that Bottomley and his wife had a happy marriage and that both were very fond of one another IOTL, Bottomley even having a second home in Monte Carlo because his wife could only spend a few weeks in England at a time because of health reasons.
 Independent Parliamentary Group is more organised and right wing IOTL with it being a platform for right wing Tories and the National Party to share.
 Bottomley's father was sent to Bethlehem Hospital for mental problems and Bottomley did everything he could to hide it, from saying he died of consumption to spreading a rumour that he was secretly the son of Charles Bradlaugh but I assume he would have trusted his wife.
 He may have loved his wife but that didn't stop him from hanging around "lively, petite, blonde, working-class girls" IOTL or ITTL. Not exactly the best role model for children.
 Bottomley's personal assistant and friend IOTL and ITTL.
 I don't think Bottomley could resist the urge to use less-then-legal way to make money IOTL or ITTL due to the speed, or lack of, in politics and it would take a large shock to stop him. IOTL it was prison while ITTL it was the death of his wife.
 Her family was described as "humble but respectable" and I assume she was the same, which begs the question of why she was with Bottomley in the first place.
 The best way to describe this man would be as a tall, monocle wearing, insane, racist, conspiracy theorist who suspected the Jews, Communists and gays of trying to destroy the country.
 All of these people thought this IOTL during WWI and now they are saying the same thing ITTL again in the 20s.
 Albert Inkpin spent two separate six months in jail for distributing Communist propaganda in both 1920 and 1922 IOTL. ITTL, he spent two years for "subverting the war effort" between 1919 and 1921 while his martyrdom united the factions which formed the CP, same result but with different methods.
 The British Socialist Party split into two factions in 1916. The pro-war faction formed the National Democratic and Labour Party while the anti-war faction formed the Communist Party IOTL and ITTL.
 As what occurred IOTL.
 The Anti-Waste League had great success in terms of getting the government to cut spending. IOTL the government quickly cut the very programs they introduced with Gedde's Axe as they do ITTL, the Conservatives were very good in dealing with potential threats from the right during the 20s.
 Montagu adopted a conciliatory policy towards the Indian nationalists IOTL and so does George Lane Fox ITTL instead of the more silly policies made by the Rowlett Act with Fox ignores and no Amritsar Massacre means more goodwill in the Indian nationalist movement.
 IOTL, the latter two didn't resign and gained lots of PR damage because of it. ITTL, for reasons that you will see, that doesn't occur and Freddie Guest in particular is still popular with the public due to military service in WWI, his looks and glamour IOTL and ITTL.
 OTL as well in one of the best named clubs of all time.
 2,096 IOTL though it was still an upset considering how the Labour candidate was all but declared the victor of the by-election due to the coalition's unpopularity.
 Of course, that's wrong with our point of view but you can see why they would think it at the moment.
 Everything but the laugh in-between Bonar Law is IOTL.
Last edited by Blackadder mk 2; July 1st, 2012 at 11:55 AM..
Nice to see this finally appear- looking forward to Bottomley's inevitable comeuppance.
Also, can we get the fantastic FE Smith "crook" gag in this at some point?
F.E Smith shall be getting that gag in at some point, and even a new one, while researching him I have found that this man is clearly hilarious and should have done better IOTL.
"Bottomley for Prime Minister? Shall we make a thief the Chancellor of the Exchequer, while we are at it." F.E Smith 1922
Taken from "Fair or Free Trade: The Loaf of the Conservative Party" by Daniel Harding (1954)
"One of the most dividing issues in the Conservative and Liberal Party during the late 19th and early 20th century was the issue of free trade against protectionism. Some would say that free trade allowed for the lower classes to have better living conditions while others would say that free trade only damaged the links between Britain and her Dominions and that protectionism was better for protecting domestic industry with. The argument over the matter would plague both parties, until the Liberals became broadly free trade while the Conservatives became broadly protectionist, however, time would show that their were strong pockets of resistance on both sides of the bench.
The issue had been downplayed during the Great War, there were more important things to discuss then the benefits of a certain trade policy or tariff reform, but as the war ended and the country entered the 20s, the issue would pop up again. Why wouldn't it? Prices were falling, if at a slower rate, the working class accepted the need for wage reductions so there were less strikes, unemployment's rise was accepted as uncontrollable and normality seemed to be returning.
Three things that made the split worse was the National Party, the collapse of the coalition and the ongoing fight for the Opposition seat between parties. The National Party had been founded as a right wing alternative to the Conservatives, with large support from MPs and the public after months of anti-German pieces by Horatio Bottomley, and had an anti-German, pro-empire and a call for unity among the classes, regions and religions for Britain's interest. What made the National Party different from other right wing parties was that it recognised an area of support in the working class which could be gained if it supported fairer working conditions, the National Party often called for tariff reform as a way to improve the lot of British workers and to also ensure that British veterans were able to reintegrate with society.
Lloyd George's coalition was another thing that caused a worse split as the right saw themselves as being constrained by the coalition and thought that left wing Conservatives such as George Lane Fox and Henry Duke were allowing the empire to break apart with the peaceful tone they had taken up with Indian and Irish nationalists. They thought that the Conservatives could have managed a government on their own and that they were being used as a boost for Lloyd George's Liberals until they could independently operate from the Tories which only became more suspected when the sales for honours scandal came out.
The final factor was the lack of an actual large opposition to the Conservatives. While the Liberals, put together, were still a large party and a threat and Labour was a rising star, they had yet to become an actual threat to a Conservative government and the rivalry between H.H Asquith and Lloyd George only increased further and further. It was a period that, free trader, Winston Churchill called "the battle to decide who will fight the battle" in that more parties where trying to rise up had caused a crowded field of parties. To some Conservatives, this was the chance to make the 20s and possibly 30s a Conservative time and saw the coalition as holding them back.
Once the coalition had been dissolved and an election was announced, many protectionists were happy with the result. The left had too many parties fighting for the same area of votes, most of the right wing challengers were either independents, too small to be a difficult opponent or were seen as partners so even if the Conservatives failed to gain a majority, they would still be able to go into supply and confidence with the National Party. At the time, Conservative MP Oswald Mosley described it as "a group of people seeing the potential for a new Conservative century" and all that needed to happen was for the election to go by in a smooth and easy manner and then the Conservatives would seize the momentum.
Fate was not in a giving mood.
Exert from "The 1922 Election; The First Battle to Decide Who Will Fight the Battle" by James Butler (1978)
The 1922 election had many parties fighting it out for many reasons. Labour was fighting to make sure that they were the second largest party in the Commons and that they would frame the political debate as people against profit as well as to prevent any more abuse of power from the government or business. Asquith's Liberals were fighting to try and maintain the Liberal's hold over the left which had been weakening over time and to try and move on from earlier grudges with Lloyd George and reunite the Liberal Party as a fighting force. Lloyd George's National Liberals aimed to establish themselves as the dominant Liberal faction and had similar goals to the Asquith faction but an earlier alleged conversation where Asquith called Lloyd George "a dictator and a crook" among other things would cause trouble.
The Conservatives had the image of a party that knew it was going to win but still wanted to have a strong majority and aimed to avoid looking complacent, to which the results were varied, as admitted by many Tory MPs after the election. The National Party wanted to force the Conservatives into a minority and force them into a coalition to allow for protectionism and for the British empire to "stay united and strong" to quote Croft and had run an effective campaign as many had been converted and Croft's strong speeches against Lloyd George's "disgusting betrayal of the people" allowed for support to increase in certain areas, not enough to cause a sudden boom but enough to hopefully have a presence.
Our last two 'main' parties fighting were the Communists and the People's League. The Communists represented two bases, those who always supported them and those who were radicalised due to the Ministry of Information and the Security Panels, hundreds were accused of somehow damaging the war and their experiences led them and their friends to be pushed into the far left, the Communists aimed to have enough of a presence to be known and to push the left further into Communism. Lenin had mentioned in letters that they and Labour had the potential to "create a peaceful revolution if the British establishment hopes to maintain the illusion to their deaths" and spoke well of his fellow President of the Communist International.
Bottomley's People's League was different, however, in that they were built out of 'patriotic labour' and politicians such as Freddie Guest and Hamar Greenwood, who defected from the Liberals and they had aimed to try and win over the working class vote. They knew that success would depend on their own local popularity and hoping that the other splits between the parties would give them narrow victories. Another hope was the as sales for honours ended and the Conservative inevitably move to the right the National Party would merge with the People's League and more of a presence would be made. The goal was for the People's League to gain press support and to have MPs elected into Parliament while also supporting populist measures such as protectionism, protecting workers and showing themselves to be "free of being ordered by the power-hungry union or power-mad big businesses" though they still made connections with press barons and trade unions.
Campaigning in these parties would go from peaceful to downright threatening as many independents worked to try and stave off these new parties by forming alliances between them or negotiating with the smaller parties to allow for less pressure to be placed on them with Henry Beamish and H.S Spencer agreeing to try and aid one another in Parliament and agreeing to vote with the People's League and National Party in exchange for adopting an even harsher line on Communists and free trade as said other parties were relieved to be able to avoid spending too much money.
As the election date drew nearer, the Conservatives soon realised that their ease in the election was starting to backfire as the machine soon fired up once more and started blasting the National Party as they stated that voting for them would simply lead to free-trade or Liberal candidates winning and only damaging the protectionist cause which caused complaints in the free trade circle and even among some of the left of the party as Samuel Hoare complained that "we seem almost eager to act like Bottomley to gain some of these votes" in a conversation with Edward Wood, to which the man also agreed as a sign of the left of the party becoming worried.
All was not well in the left wing side either. Labour found themselves either attacked for doing nothing about the MoI while in coalition by the Communists or were attacked or allowing the Communists to gain support in the first place, though we can now tell that this did not affect Labour that much. What was worse, however, was how one move by Lloyd George soon led to what would become the death of the Liberal Party. It was called "The Lloyd George Betrayal" when a National Liberal candidate was suddenly put up in Asquith's new seat, causing him to lose, as retaliation for continued rumours of Asquith's insults towards Lloyd George and the uneasy Liberal truce as campaigning between the two became bitter causing the Liberal split to continue, John Simon would later say that Lloyd George "had allowed his ego to destroy years of history".
Taken from "British Parliamentary Election Results 1918-1949" by F.W.S. Craig (1969)
The 1922 election was considered to be one that the Conservatives would come first in but, as time went by, it became a question of whether they would gain a minority government or a majority after a considered lack of campaigning was executed. This was the period later known as "The First Battle", coined by Winston Churchill to point out how many parties were fighting to become the Opposition to the Conservatives and would last until 1923.
Many changes were made since 1918, the Liberals were now openly split and had formed different parties while Labour was now larger then both of them combined regardless, thus making them the Opposition party for now while the Conservatives lost seats due to the National Party either winning the seats or splitting them so that other parties could win them. Vote splitting was a problem that many parties faced with F.E Smith commenting that "We have so many parties fighting for seats that I imagine every constituent will be a party now" as most parties assumed that this was a triumph for all of them.
Conservative: 297 seats (-70 seats)
Labour: 136 seats (+80 seats)
Liberal: 64 seats (+28 seats)
National Liberal: 52 seats (-75 seats)
National Party: 35 seats (+25 seats)
People's League: 12 seats (+12 seats)
Communist Party: 3 seats (+3 seats)
Independents: 16 seats (+6 seats)
Total: 615 seats (-92 seats)
 F.E Smith said something like this IOTL with Bottomley congratulating him while Smith lamented not inviting him to his installation saying "I should have needed a crook".
 This also happened IOTL which EdT's TL 'Fight and Be Right shows this beautifully and it was this question that helped cause the Liberals to split in the 1890s as well as Home Rule while the Tories were also split between themselves.
 This was OTL as well, they sort of knew that things had to get bad before they got better and were very forgiving about some of the moves that had to be made.
 Remember that Bottomley's been blasting his propaganda for years now ever since he started doing it on a country-wide level since 1916 so more people are anti-foreign (anti-German isn't all that cool any more) and anti-socialist.
 All of that was OTL. The National Party IOTL knew that there was a market gap for working class people who were a bit suspicious of Labour so they tried to target them and they do ITTL as well.
 A lot more then IOTL. H.H Asquith has been horrified by the MoI's actions and has been the subject of some media attacks, he also doesn't like how some of the 'press lords' who attacked him are now enjoying government.
 Currently we have Liberals, National Liberals, Labour, Communists and the People's League all fighting for some of the working class vote and even then we have the National Party offering "no restriction in wages for no restriction in output which means a lot of people want the working class vote.
 No Black and Tans means Mosley doesn't become an Independent or is exposed to the Labour side of things, though we will get to see his point of view.
 Asquith is more disgusted by what Lloyd George has allowed Bottomley to do but no one hears that bit more then they hear his many complaints about other aspects of Lloyd George.
 Croft and the National Party also made strong speeches against sales for honours IOTL as well, he is a bit more good with words then IOTL which means that more people are enticed by him.
 These hundreds would have already been in trouble or on a naughty list but they still were not mentioned IOTL and they have still been thrown into the slammer, much to Labour, TUC and some Liberal's complaints, it is around the book's publication that the academic world is starting to look at Bottomley with less then pleasant eyes.
 Lenin did send letters about Britain to others in government though I recall one that slammed Arthur Henderson (calling him stupid mostly) and Albert Inkpin was made President of the Communist International with Lenin in 1921 IOTL so I imagine Lenin may have a more positive view of him ITTL and IOTL.
 Some "it happened it must have always been supposed to happen at some point" idea leaked into the book such as the idea that this person must always become leader because that is what happened IOTL.
 The National Democratic and Labour Party, which had the support of the Musicians Union and parts of the Miners Federation of Great Britain, joins the People's League instead of the National Liberals IOTL while Bottomley still has connections in the press.
 As much as proto-fascists can and even then they only win by small three-figure majorities.
 And this, kids, is why you don't let personality clashes dictate how your party functions. The somehow-more poisonous relationship between LG and Asquith means that the Liberals remain split ITTL and don't unite for the 1923 election.
 Vote splitting and a general sense of "we're going to win so why bother going all out?" until it's almost too late means the Conservatives do a lot worse then IOTL but are still the larger party by far only they now have a minority.
 Labour do slightly worse then OTL due to vote splitting and more suspicion but it is still a good success for the party.
 More sympathy towards Asquith means that the Liberals increase their vote share but not enough for Asquith to succeed.
 The centrist and right wing Labour vote goes to LG due to a sense that he is a better alternative and he does better then IOTL when you take out the ND&L MPs from OTL seat numbers.
 Vote splitting, stronger local team, Croft using Sales of Honours to his advantage and Bottomley's propaganda means that more people are attracted to the National Party's xenophobia and policies.
 Bottomley and the MoI have radicalised possible Labour voters in going towards the Communist Party which has very concentrated support which means that their seat numbers don't match the expected vote share.
 Vote splitting means that the Independents do better but only with small three figure majorities.